The trial was postponed for defence lawyers to have more time to prepare.
Rabat – A judge in Sale’s Court of Appeals has postponed the trial of 24 suspects charged in connection with the Imlil murders to May 16.
The trial was initially scheduled for today.
Moroccan television channel 2M said that the trial was postponed to give the defence’s lawyers time to “prepare.”
The suspects include one Swiss-Spanish defendant and 23 Moroccans. Prosecutors are charging the 24 with involvement in the murders of two Scandinavian tourists near Imlil and Mount Toubkal in Morocco’s Atlas mountains in December 2018.
Moroccan police found the bodies of Louisa Vesterager Jespersen and Maren Ueland on December 17, causing national and international shock.
The police confirmed that the victims were beheaded. Police arrested four main suspects, and multiple additional suspects, including two Swiss nationals.
Moroccan state-owned news agency Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) reported in April that a Moroccan court sentenced one of the Swiss suspects separately to 10 years in prison.
The court convicted the suspect of “the setting up of a gang to prepare and commit[ting] terrorist acts aimed at seriously undermining public order, and defending, organizing and failing to report terrorist crimes and acts.”
Suspects convicted of terror-related charges can receive prison sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years in prison depending on their involvement in the crime.
The Imlil murder suspects are facing charges of having ties with a terror network, forming a criminal network, and spreading terrorism.
A video showing two men decapitating a foreigner went viral on social media days after authorities found the bodies of the two Scandinavian tourists. The timing of the video’s posting shocked international and local people, who linked the video with the murders.
Moroccan police did not comment on whether the video depicted the crime, but Norway police said they had no reason not to believe the video was accurate.
Another video was posted after the graphic footage showing the four main suspects pledging allegiance to the self-styled caliph of ISIS, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi.
Following the heinous crime, Moroccans and the government expressed heartfelt solidarity with the families of the victims. While some rallied in the streets, others used emotional videos and messages to express their support for the victims and their relatives.